2110 I’ll Leave A Light On For You.

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How many of you are old enough to remember those old commercials I got the title from?

A long while back I started watching videos about shelf stable food. Generally ones about field rations for various armed forces. A lot of doomsday prep food comes from that sort of thing. My father, when he was in the army, ate rations from the second world war, because even though they weren’t great, they were still edible. Modern shelf stable food is even better than it was back then, obviously. A lot of things will last for an impressive amount of time, even though the companies that make it usually lowball the time you’ve got, so as to avoid lawsuits. 40 years is pushing it by every metric I know. I think 5 to 7 years is about as good as you can get barring things like sugar, honey, & other basic things that won’t ever spoil if stored properly. Clean water is the real issue. On some level doomsday prep is just an exercise in futility. In a real global thermonuclear war that truly devastated the planet all you’re doing is staving off the inevitable. It’s just something people do to try and take control back from chaos. Of course the public perception of what a person could survive as it applies to fallout wasn’t great even in the 60s. Even by the time I was in grade school the reality of what would happen wasn’t widely understood by a lot of people. My father always said if the bombs are coming it’s better to just go outside and get vaporized by the flash rather than suffer in a hellscape. My family, as you have probably guessed by now, if you’ve followed me for any length of time, is morbidly pragmatic.
That said, a shelter in the Midwest is actually very useful for the only common natural disaster: Tornados. In spite of this, many structures don’t have any shelter at all, because humans are short sighted and stupid. I remember when I lived in my apartment having to try and find someplace to go if there was a bad storm because it was essentially a box made of tissue against a tornado. There was no communal shelter. If the thing blew through we were just fucked & everyone would be like “there was nothing we could do” because, as I said, short sighted & stupid. It irritates me to this day.


Victoria, those are fantastic last words. I hope they aren’t your last words.

Jackie, I’m old enough to remember those ads!

Given that these two seem to be last they should have enough meat shields to run.
Unless the cracy also has enough fire arms and knows how to use them.

I remember those ads well.
I haven’t thought about them in a long time but now that I have I kinda miss them for some odd reason.

Probably because they have a homey and welcoming feel to them that most advertising doesn’t. Hell, most of the entertainment the advertising is inside doesn’t have a very welcoming feel.

Lights on is actually a really bad sign. Incandescents don’t last long, and even florescents of that era would probably have packed it in by now.

Someone is replacing lamps, or has swapped them out for modern LEDs.

MOST incandescent lights don’t last long
The Livermore Centennial Light Bulb, at Firestation #6, Livermore, California, USA, has been burning since it was installed in 1901. The hand-blown bulb has operated at about 4 watts, and has been left on 24 hours a day in order to provide night illumination of the fire engines. There has only been one break in its operation when it was removed from one fire station and fitted in another.
It has it’s own web page at: http://centennialbulb.org/cam.htm where you can check to see if it’s still burning. As of today, it’s still on.

I guess the secret is hand producing the light bulb and running it at very, very, very low wattage…

At a certain point, the Tungsten in a lightbulb stops off-gassing because it has saturated the vacuum within the bulb with tungsten particles. The only reason modern lightbulbs burn out is that companies build them that way, so you have to keep buying lightbulbs. However, the fact that there is electricity to these bulbs still is concerning. Specifically, because no one was paying for the electricity bills unless this guy was leeching off the building owners.

We were told that cycling the lights was what wore them out (that, and voltage spikes), but that leaving them on they’d last a really long time …. but hey 40 years? Dunno, bulbs in the 50s lasted longer than incandescents today do. But, hey, LEDs! Wow.

The power cycling issue is real for basic fluorescent bulbs with the old style magnetic ballasts that are full of that wonderful toxic preservative. It is the inrush current when they start that causes tungsten to boil off the filaments and shorten the lifespan of the bulbs. Afterwards it draws much less power to keep them glowing. It was the main reason office buildings left the lights on. Not so much the cost of the bulbs themselves or the electricity but the cost of labour to replace them.

Speaking of fluorescents the old T12 fixtures stopped being produced 2 … now 3 years ago and the bulbs for them are getting scarce. My work issue is that I have equipment that require T12 bulbs of very particular quality. Those are getting scarce and the Chinese replacements can be very dodgy. I just had to deal with a batch that put out 1 to 6 watts when they were supposed to be 20 watts of near UV.

As for LED lamps, the first gen ones, especially USA made, were overpriced, designed and built as cheap as physically possible and took liberties with their design that made them even shorter lived than the cheap Walmart incandescents.

Also LEDs were delayed in NA because GE and the rest had put so much into compact fluorescent bulbs they got their Gov lackeys to stonewall imports. Wow those were such a great idea, ate more power, gave off loads of heat so they caught fire and gave people UV burns and cataracts, BUT record profits and ROI.

LED traffic signal bulbs were 3 to 4 times as expensive as standard bulbs but cities switched to them as quickly as they could if they had any sort of fiscal intelligence. Why? Because you need a crew of 3 and a truck to go out there and change a set of bulbs and the those LED lamps lasted 2 to 4 times as long between replacement. That would cut the service costs by 50% to 80%.

If anyone is interested in just how messed up the states is regarding technology, check out the Smithsonian and their lighting tech exhibit. They don’t even cover LED and still credit Edison for the light-bulb when all he did was buy the patent from those Toronto Brothers who couldn’t get financial backing. Also Tesla is relegated once again to a tiny back corner. These are some of the reasons why BELL hated Edison’s guts.


Apologies for the wall of text/rant

Wall o’ text, and yet after reading this I know more, and had it laid-out in a cogent and clear way, with very few sidings. Edison WAS a genius, … just not the Steinmetz, Tesla, DaVinci class genius. George W. was an engineer’s engineer, and won many victories over little Tommy Edison, because Tommy was caught up in his emotional baggage, and Georgie was practical (and poss. a better businessman).

There are new one with Tom Bo Datt on the radio actually! He makes comments about trendy pop culture things! They are usually kinda funny the first few times.

What does it say about me that my first thought after “He left the lights on” was, ‘Oh, so there must have been a switch attached to the door.’

Not given to panic, anyway. ;)

Would you like to play a game?
Good old Tom Lehrer:

First we got the bomb and that was good,
‘Cause we love peace and motherhood.

Then Russia got the bomb, but that’s O.K.,
‘Cause the balance of power’s maintained that way!

Who’s next?

Then France got the bomb, but don’t you grieve,
‘Cause they’re on our side, I believe.

Then China got the bomb, but have no fears;
They can’t wipe us out for at least five years…
Who’s next?*

** Very old song from when most of us believed what we were told, that a nuclear war was “Winnable “. Hahahahaha…cough cough, ack, thbbbbb.

Love that song. Nowadays if anyone thinks nuclear war is winnable, get a copy of “DEFCON” on Steam (it’s really cheap) and make them play it.


Not to bother or offend anyone, but-
thinking about the cold war brought up another nightmare-ish subject that my family went through:

This was a chilling part of history…my family tells me- that from 1964-1968 /the 1968 Tet Offensive, a large number of my family’s co-workers thought that the Vietnam War was going to be a small war, and that it was going to be over very quickly.
To put it, in a short way, it turned out to be neither of those things…in the end.
As one author from the cold war has said, in sort of a hushed and stunned tone of voice: Wow, and double wow.

I still love this storyline, by the way. It’s the first credible Scooby Gang I remember seeing.

Talking dog, yeah, sure. Smoke another one, hippie. And for crying out loud, shave.

Pink-o communists, all of them. Marx had a beard, Lenin had a beard, … uh, Gabby Hays had ‘whiskers’.

If you can keep air and light from getting to it a lot of foods will last. I won’t say that they will taste good, but they will be edible. For stuff in tins, the problem is that the can rusts from the outside in and then air gets into the can and things spoil. I’ve eaten Viet Nam era MREs that were 10 years old at the time. Not the tastiest but they were intended to be filling and supply lots of calories. Water on the other hand is a problem. As Jackie notes there is quite a little industry built around water purification. I’ve seen shelters with stacks of 5 gallon cans labeled “drinking water”. Just enough to hold you until the fallout is back down around ground level.

Hmm, I’ve heard that if you run a 220V bulb on 110V, it’ll last much longer (a standard bulb would last ~1000 hours, in large parts due to the legacy of the Phoebus cartel). But this does seem like a really long time. So kinda thinking somebody’s got a grow-op going down there.

Incandescent bulb lifespan is dependent on driving voltage, gas mixture and filament topology.

My brother in-law services those pixel board signs. They are all LED or retrofitted to LED now but the original ones used long life bulbs which were quite a bit more expensive BUT losing more than one or two bulbs would cause problems and the major cost was getting a guy up there to change out or replace bulbs.

You are correct that a consumer grade bulb run 1000 hours and at best lasts 2000 hours. The bulbs in signboards could be rated anywhere from 5,000 to 20,000 hours and have their life extended by running at lower power at night. Mind those bulbs were not cheap, costing several dollars each compared to cents for a similar sized consumer grade bulb.

About tarnada shelters. I was pleasantly surprised to find out new house has one. It’s huge and runs most of the length of the garage.
We’re moving back to Kansas this summer!!

yep, i ‘member. i actually follow him on twitter to boot. ~yes he’s still doing stuff. just not as noticeable.~
on the topic of shelters…
i’m old enough to remember when the old timers still built root cellars that resembled hobbit homes from the shire. i lived in a pretty rural isolated area. stuff like canning & making preserves was less about some idjit leaning on a button somewhere and more about welp, winter’s cold af… ya wanna eat even when nothin’ grows? then ya do shit like can, dehydrate n the like.
so we had root cellars… holes in the ground dug deep beneath the frost line and covered over with several feet of earth n turf. fortified on the inside usually with rock n cement with timber here n there.
great for things like tornadoes n hiding from folks ya didn’t wanna be found by. ;1

…And in the first two panels, we see that Carol is playing two parts. First, she plays herself in the 1st panel. Later on- she does a quick costume change, and becomes Alex…in the 2nd panel.

Based on your backlog of comments I understand you likely didn’t intend for this to be an insult, but it is.

Why’s she worried about being killed? Isn’t this supposed to be in Kansas? If so, then you can bet someone there is concealed carrying. My money’s on Thomas. Possibly Reggie.

Maybe they’ll get lucky, and all there is is a room filled to the brim with lawn gnomes and plungers.
Or maybe there’s a whole society of people in there, all named Gary, and can only their names like pokemon.

Not to cause alarm but foresight, reducing risks and loss of life due to natural or man made disasters is not a strongsuit of any society in the world unless they have learned some very hard lessons. Unless the impact to daily life and or loss of life is great it is shrugged off as a once in a while threat or we’ll deal with it when it gets close to happening again. Wether it is a “season” or a every X number of years occurance. Tornadoes, Monsoons, Floods, Hurricanes etc.

The large amount of structures that are not earthquake safe in countries prone to earthquakes is largely due to the structures and infrastrucure being older than the current standards and people/tax bases unwilling/cannot afford to spend the money to retrofit or raze and rebuild to just increase their chances of surviving a structural failure. Or th”W well it has lasted through quakes so far argument.The Japanese are ahead in these repects as they have suffered very large quakes in high desity population areas.

In regards to the end of Jackie’s comic-commentary/description; Reading. Goddamned. Kansas.

They *know* itcs in a bad spot. They’ve know for *years* -DECADES- that that’s a bad spot. Yet they keep rebuilding right there in same damned spot it keeps getting wiped from.

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